What to Do If You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver in Texas

Being involved in a car accident is a distressing experience, but the situation becomes even more complicated when the at-fault driver is intoxicated. Drunk driving accidents are a serious problem in Texas, and they can cause significant physical, emotional, and financial damage to the innocent victims involved. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it’s essential to know your rights and take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and seek justice. In this article, we will outline what to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver in Texas and discuss the legal requirements involved.

Ensure Your SafetyWhat to Do If You're Hit by a Drunk Driver

Immediately after the accident, prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. If possible, move to a safe location away from oncoming traffic. Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed. Stay calm and try to gather as much information as possible about the accident, including the drunk driver’s license plate number, insurance details, and any witness statements.

Gather Evidence

Collecting evidence is crucial in building a strong case against the drunk driver. Take photographs of the accident scene, including the damage to the vehicles involved, skid marks, and any road hazards that may have contributed to the collision. If there are witnesses present, obtain their contact information to support your account of the accident. Additionally, make a note of any unusual behavior or signs of intoxication displayed by the other driver.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen over time. Visit a healthcare professional who can evaluate and document your injuries. These medical records will serve as vital evidence when seeking compensation for your damages.

Report the Accident

In Texas, it is required by law to report any accident that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 to the local authorities. File a police report and provide them with all the relevant information regarding the accident, including the other driver’s intoxication. The police report will act as an official record of the incident and can serve as evidence in your case.

Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the legal complexities of a drunk driving accident can be challenging without proper guidance. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney, such as Chavez Law Firm, is crucial for protecting your rights and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation. A knowledgeable attorney will review your case, gather additional evidence, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and help you understand the legal options available to you.

Document Your Damages

To strengthen your case, it’s essential to document all the damages resulting from the accident. Keep a record of your medical expenses, including hospital bills, prescription costs, and therapy fees. If your injuries prevent you from working, document your lost wages and any potential future income loss. Additionally, keep track of any property damage, such as vehicle repairs or replacement costs. Having thorough documentation will help ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for your losses.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the collision, including the fact that the other driver was intoxicated. Cooperate fully with their investigation, but be cautious when discussing the accident or your injuries. Insurance companies may try to minimize your claim or shift blame, so it’s advisable to consult with an attorney before providing any statements.

Support from Victim Advocacy Organizations

In Texas, there are numerous victim advocacy organizations dedicated to supporting victims of drunk driving accidents. These organizations can provide valuable resources, emotional support, and guidance throughout the legal process. They can help you understand your rights, connect you with support groups, and offer counseling services to help you cope with the aftermath of the accident. Reach out to these organizations to access the assistance you need during this challenging time.

Pursue Legal Action

If you’ve suffered injuries or damages due to a drunk driving accident, pursuing legal action may be necessary to secure the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess the strength of your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached. They will work diligently to hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions and fight for the maximum compensation available under the law.

Spread Awareness and Support Prevention Efforts

In seeking justice for your own case, consider using your experience to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and support prevention efforts. Share your story, participate in local awareness campaigns, and advocate for stricter penalties for drunk driving offenses. By actively contributing to the cause, you can help prevent future accidents and protect others from the devastating consequences of drunk driving.

Legal Requirements in Texas

When pursuing a claim against a drunk driver in Texas, several legal requirements must be met:

Statute of Limitations: In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Failing to meet this deadline may result in your claim being dismissed.

Comparative Negligence: Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if you are found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced. However, if you are determined to be 51% or more at fault, you may be barred from recovering any compensation.

Dram Shop Laws: Texas has dram shop laws that hold establishments liable for serving alcohol to individuals who are clearly intoxicated and subsequently cause injuries or damages. If applicable, these laws may allow you to seek compensation from the establishment that served the drunk driver.

How Chavez Law Firm Can Help You with a Car Accident in Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, it’s crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights. Contact Chavez Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorneys. We are committed to fighting for justice on your behalf and helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Let us guide you through the legal process and provide the support you need during this challenging time. Together, we can hold drunk drivers accountable and make our roads safer for everyone.